TV Review: 30 Rock Season 7 Episode 6
It was a nice ride while it lasted, wasn’t it?
To dream of a Hazel-free life. Was it too much to ask?
30 Rock says “yes.”
TL;DR Hazel’s back. On the plus side, though, it looks like she’ll be gone for good now. And Jack and Tracy are somehow intellectual equals? What?
Hazel apparently has the ability to infect every plot around her with pointless stupidity.
So this episode sees her return. She’s still dating Kenneth for some reason. Her quest to be on TGS is still ongoing, and when Liz becomes incapacitated due to foot surgery, she worms her way into her good books by becoming her assistant. Because Liz apparently forgot about that episode last season where she tries to mentor Hazel and it doesn’t go well. It doesn’t go well this time, either. But luckily Liz puts a stop to her and fires her. Thank. Fuck. Meanwhile, Tracy’s new movie (a parody of Tyler Perry’s Madea thing) comes out and portrays Jack as a bumbling old Scrooge-esque meanie. Jack then has to match wits with Tracy, who somehow proves to be his scheming equal. And Jenna tries to convince Kenneth to break up with Hazel. Kenneth needs Jenna to be able to listen to him. Failure ensues.
Well, we made it through 5 near-perfect episodes. The real stinker was bound to show up sometime.
The problem with this episode is that all the plotlines are shit. Liz has her own sub plot where her healing feet represent her ability to be a good mother. What the fuck?
The Jenna and Kenneth one is pointless. Every episode it becomes clearer that Kenneth shouldn’t be there.
Jack and Tracy’s is fucking stupid, as well. They’re equal because they’re both rich, stubborn and constantly believe they’re right. But Tracy should be no match for Jack motherfucking Donaghy. Absurd.
And, of course, Hazel is the anti christ of 30 Rock enjoyability. But you knew that already.
There’s a constant stream of satisfying one-liners, but they’re undermined by abysmal stories.
Why I hate this episode:
And although she’s now fired, Kenneth defiantly refuses to break up with her. So as long as he’s around, I guess we’ll have to keep enduring her. Here’s a thought: get rid of both of them. Or just press the reset button on Kenneth, hand wave some excuse to give him his page job back, and kill Hazel offscreen. Done.
Liz is hit by plot-induced amnesia and hires Hazel as her assistant. It’s almost identical to the time when Hazel tried to be best friends with her. And Liz doesn’t see it. FFS.
Jack and Tracy are nothing alike. You can’t force a plot line that incorrect.
Liz comes to the realisation (because having immobilizing foot surgery leads to these kind of profound understandings) that she can’t have her job and children. Did she forget Criss is virtually unemployed? Unnecessary melodrama.
Oh, and Tracy eventually stops Jack from suing him for libel by leveraging an orphanage in their battle (Tracy’s defence to the libel lawsuit would be truth, so in order to make the character of Jack from the movie’s action of closing down an orphanage true, he forces Jack to allow the sequel to go ahead with proceeds benefiting a real life orphanage. So if Jack carries out the lawsuit on the first movie, the sequel won’t be made and won’t benefit the orphanage, thus closing it down). This is fucking obscene. And incorrect. The sequel hasn’t been released yet, so Jack still has a workable lawsuit on his hands. The only reason Tracy wins is because in this instance Jack is more generous than Tracy when it comes to underprivileged youths. Bullshit.
Reasons to watch:
Jenna’s sub plot is the only one that’s half decent. She lies to Kenneth and says she’ll be able to listen to him. As soon as he starts talking she zones out and talks to herself inside her mind. This culminates in her singing harmony with herself. It’s magic.
The Madea parody is pretty spot-on. Although I’ve never watched a Madea movie myself, this is enough to convince me not to and slag it off anyway. And enjoy when others make fun of it, too.
Hazel, before her true plan comes into action, turns out to be a surprisingly effective assistant to Liz. Huh.
Part of Tracy’s effort to piss off jack involves him endowing the New York Philharmonic so they’ll replace the scheduled performance Jack’s attending with a 4 hour rendition of the Sanford and Son theme. Trollol.
Liz fires Hazel. Fuck. Yeah.
Jenna uses her powers of evil for good in her quest to get rid of Hazel. Nice.
Jenna gets best line, with setup from herself. After Liz goes nuts on Hazel, Kenneth appeals to Jenna to say something in her defence (because she was supposed to have been listening to him praise her earlier):
Jenna (inside her mind): “Help me, Me.”
Jenna (inside her mind): “This one’s on you, bitch. -sound of door slamming, car speeding away-”
Jack turns in a couple of good efforts. When trying to connect with a black person, he talks about how NBC has culturally diverse programming: “We’ve got football. That’s pretty black, right?”
And when arguing with Tracy he is incensed at Tracy’s disrespect: “I will not have you talk to me like I’m some kind of Liz Lemon!” Bonus points for having Liz in the room with them.
Oh, and Tracy remarks that he’s “Will Smith-ing” his daughter. Still not as exploitative as the real thing.